KI CLIMB 2015

The 2015 climb is aimed at highlighting how boxing and martial arts can engage young women and men at-risk of falling into criminal activities and assisting them in becoming positive and constructive role models in their respective communities. To do so, KI is partnering with award-winning sport-based organization Fight For Peace (FFP), which developed a boxing and mentoring program at its academies located in the Complexo de Mare favela in Rio de Janeiro; and in North Woolwich in London. The collaboration between KI and FFP started in February 2010, when we sponsored one of their young Brazilian boxers, Douglas, to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with KI. Less than a month later, FFP and KI co-organized a seminar on sports and crime prevention at UN-HABITAT's World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro. This positive synergy was taken to another level when FFP approached KI in January 2013 and asked us to help them introduce their Global Alumni Program (GAP), based on their program in Brazil and the UK, in Kenya. Since then, we have worked together and identified and supported 11 community-based organizations in Nairobi and Kogelo, positively affecting more than 700 youth. The climb will include five young women and five young women from the boxing community in Kenya, Tanzania, the UK and USA. Together, with youth at the forefront, we will demonstrate how with teamwork and perseverance we can reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro and fight for better and safer communities, by using peaceful means.

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YOUTH CLIMBERS

Adina Farrell
Adina Farrell

20 years old, USA

I have just started college and I am a student instructor at the Mary Mitchell Center which serves the Crotona Community in the Bronx, New York. Crotona is in the poorest congressional district in the USA, and there are gangs and violence on the streets. I became engaged with the center when I took part in their Fight Back Jiu-jitsu program. After many years of hard work, I am now a fourth degree black belt and have been induced in their hall of fame. I am sure other people taking part in the climb will have similar experiences and we can learn from each other. This climb will give me new perspectives and an experience I can bring back to the Bronx.
Anthony Pegues
Anthony Pegues

25 years old, USA

I am a member of Champs Boxing Club in New Rochelle, NY, and my coach is Ryan O’Leary. I am a two-time winner of New York’s Golden Gloves tournament. The training camp and climb of Mount Kilimanjaro will be the most exciting experience I have ever had in my life. The opportunity to visit countries like Kenya and Tanzania was something I thought would only be possible in my dreams. I would be able to tell my kids and keep the memory forever – this trip would be everything for me.
Arnold Sosa
Arnold Sosa

20 years old, USA

I started Jiu-jitsu at the Mary Mitchell Center in the Bronx, NY, when I was just eleven years old. I now go to college and I am an instructor at the center. Martial arts have helped me become a more rational person and I have gained leadership skills that I apply to other tasks – it has helped my focus in terms of academics and physical health. I am eager to share the experiences I gain at the KI training camp and during the climb with other young people at the center, and learn more about other cultures and people. I expect this to be a once in a life time experience and I want to keep in touch with other people on the trip.
Benta Ndulu
Benta Ndulu

25 years old, Kenya

I am a member of Youth Without Walls, a community-based organization located in Eastleigh, in Nairobi. We have a youth mentorship program and use boxing to engage youth and encourage young people. I have financial difficulties and there are a lack of job opportunities. I have had a very tough upbringing, revolving around domestic and substance abuse and I have frequently thought of easy ways out. Youth without Walls made me realize what life is all about – it’s hanging on when your heart has had enough, its about giving more when you feel like giving up.
Edwin Rabuogi
Edwin Rabuogi

19 years old, Kenya

I have just finished my 'O' levels and I am waiting for my results. I grew up in Kariobangi slum in Nairobi, as my family had very little money. In the past, I was tempted to join a gang of thieves due to peer pressure. To escape substance abuse and the lack of opportunities in Nairobi led me to travel upcountry to look for a better life. I now live in Kogelo and I am a member of the Sauti Kuu Foundation set up by Auma Obama. The foundation teaches youth valuable life skills and has a mix of educational, environmental and sport activities, including boxing.
Gabriella Chering
Gabriella Chering

19 years old, UK

I live on a council estate in Wood Green in London. Growing up I have seen a lot of youth fall victim to crime because they could not focus and see the bigger picture of life. As well as singing and dancing, I participate in Muay Thai (boxing) classes at Fight For Peace’s London Academy. I am currently working on my music project and release songs on Soundcloud under the name Gabi’el. I strongly believe in freedom of expression and that everyone should get a chance to express themselves. I enjoy working with teams of people, because I believe teamwork is important in every aspect of life.
Gervas Kimario
Gervas Kimario

20 years old, Tanzania

I am an orphan and was raised by Compassion International Tanzania at their Ngarenaro Centre in Arusha. I started to practice boxing 4 years ago and train in the open grounds of a local primary school in Arusha with my coach, Mr. Mohamedi Aboubakar. I participated in the East Africa regional competition held in Mombasa in 2013 and obtained a gold medal in light flyweight (49kg). I was nominated and awarded best Amateur Boxer at the 2013 PSPF Tanzania Boxing Awards. My dream is to become one of the greatest boxers in the world and obtain a medal in the upcoming Olympics and All-African games.
John Kyalo
John Kyalo

19 years old, Kenya

I grew up in Maringo, Nairobi. We often lacked food at home. Lack of employment means that I do garbage collection to earn a living. It was either that of engaging in crime, as I was tempted to do so by a friend. I sometimes rely on boxing to earn a living. My main challenge is to earn money so that my younger brother can attend school and complete his studies. When I can, I train at the Mathare North Boxing Club. I started boxing in 2008, winning 34 matches and losing 6. My greatest achievement is travelling to the Youth Boxing Championship in Armenia, Yerevan, but lost my matches due to a shoulder dislocation.
Neema Mteta
Neema Ndulu

18 years old, Tanzania

Neema is from a low-income family in Musoma, in the Mara region of Tanzania. 3 years ago she started boxing and soon after moved with her mother to Dar es Salaam. Life was tough and her mother returned to Musoma, leaving Neema in Dar es Salaam. In 2013 Neema joined the Kigamboni local boxing club. She is currently living with a friend of her family, who is keen to get Neema back into school. In the meantime, Neema dreams of becoming a famous boxer in Tanzania and is training to participate in the upcoming Female World Junior and Youth Championship organized by AIBA.
Veronica Mbithe
Veronica Mbithe

19 years old, Kenya

I am currently studying beauty therapy at the Kenya institute of professional studies. I grew up in Muthurwa, a disadvantaged community in Nairobi, where my family often lacked food, medication and other basic needs. Even now I sometimes lack money to buy beauty products needed for my course training. I started boxing at the Dallas Boys Self-Help and Welfare Group a few year ago. In five years time, as well as becoming a beautician, I also hope to become a professional boxer and world champion. Above all, I want to be a role model for many young children and prove that you can have a productive future through sports and education.